FAQs

General FAQs
With the uncertainty of Covid-19, is the Trust still planning to provide financial help to postgraduate students in 2022?

Yes,  we are still planning to go ahead with our awards for 2022.  The application process will be open on 1st January 2022.

In 2020 and 2021, it was necessary to cancel all live auditions for the Munster Trust Study Awards.  We are keeping all Government advice and restrictions relating to COVID-19 under review and, whilst we have set aside provisional dates for live auditions in London, we are conscious that there is a possibility that these auditions will be affected by changes in the pandemic.  Any changes to the requirement for live auditions will be notified to candidates as soon as possible.  However, candidates are advised to ensure that their applications and recordings submitted to the Trust are as strong as they can be.  We have produced a guide with tips to help you produce a suitable recording whatever your circumstances. Please remember that the Trustees will not be assessing the quality of your recording but only the quality of your performance.  Please check back nearer the application opening date (1st January 2022) for further information. 

What will you do with my personal information?

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.  Our Privacy Notice tells you what you can expect us to do with your personal information when you make contact with us.

What type of awards do you offer?

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust was established in 1958 by Lady Munster to help young musicians achieve their full potential towards securing careers as performers.  To this end the Trustees are happy to accept applications for:

1.  Study Awards

Open to instrumentalists and singers (who are looking to undertake performance-based classical or jazz music postgraduate study) as well as to composers wishing to undertake postgraduate study. Applications are now also welcomed from exceptional jazz students about to enter their final year of undergraduate study.  This extension applies to jazz musicians only, from 2020.

2. Instrument Purchase Loans

Open to young artists who received funding from the Trust towards their studies and who have completed their studies and are either working in the music profession or looking to enter the profession.

3. The Stephen Oliver Award

The award is made biennially for a work which has been or is in the process of being written for music theatre, to assist with the cost of bringing it to performance.  The next Assessment will take place in 2023

Is there an age limit for applications?

No, there is no age limit for applications.  However, the Trust offers support towards postgraduate study only (and final year undergraduate study in the case of jazz musicians) and will not consider applications that the Trustees deem to be for professional development only.

Do you have to be British to apply?

No, but you must fulfil the following eligibility criteria which are slightly different for this coming application season in 2022 from in previous years:

The current policy of the Trust is to consider candidates (instrumentalists, singers & composers) for study awards who satisfy the following residency criteria:

    1. The applicant has either been resident in the UK for over ten years since birth or alternatively has successfully completed (by the end of the current academic year) at least three academic years of full-time study in a UK higher education institution (University / Music Conservatoire); and
    2. the applicant can prove that, based on the laws and regulations in force at the closing date for applications (10 February) and his/her personal circumstances, he/she automatically has permission to continue to reside and work in the UK for at least one year following completion of higher education.

 

Postgraduate Study Grant FAQs
When/how can I apply for a Munster Trust Study Award?

It is important in the first instance to make sure you are eligible to apply for an Award –

  • have you been resident in the UK for over ten years since birth, or alternatively have you successfully completed (by the end of the current academic year) at least three academic years of full-time study in a UK higher education institution (University / Music Conservatoire)?
  • can you prove that, based on the laws and regulations in force at the closing date for applications (10 February) and your personal circumstances, you automatically have permission to continue to reside and work in the UK for at least one year following completion of higher education?
  • if you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, you are eligible to apply for an Award but the Trust may require evidence of eligibility e.g. copies of passports, etc.

It is also important that you are aware that the Trust receives very many applications that are ultimately unsuccessful: only around 75 awards are made each year, to outstanding performers who can also demonstrate financial need, so please consider whether you are ready to make an application to the Trust and, if in doubt, please speak to your teacher.

Applications will be available online from 1st January each year and must be submitted through our online application form.  If you have technical issues completing the form please contact the Trust Secretary on admin@munstertrust.org.uk or telephone 01428 685427.  The closing date for submission of application forms and video links and references is midnight on 10th February. The closing date for submission of references is  21st February.

Filling out an Application Form can be a daunting process, but the Applications Helpsheet 2022 contains detailed information on what you will need in order to submit your application form.  Give yourself enough time to complete the form: a last minute rush can cause undue pressure and possible mistakes.  The website allows you to save your work as you progress through the form.  This is a useful tool and enables you to review/edit the form as many times as you want up until the deadline.  Please do proofread your application form before sending this to us or ask someone to do this for you – there may be spelling mistakes or an important piece of information you have left out. Finally, make sure you get your application to us no later than midnight on 10th February.

For tips about how to produce a suitable recording even when you are challenged by coronavirus restrictions, please have a look at our guide.

My course start date does not align with the start of the UK academic year. Am I able to apply to the Trust?

Our funding commences in September in order to coincide with the start of the UK academic year. If you are applying for a course where the start date is other than September, please contact us on admin@munstertrust.org.uk to discuss your options.

Do I need to submit any references?

The Trust requires two references to be submitted online by 17th February.

  • One referee must be the applicant’s current teacher and the other referee must be a person with up-to-date knowledge of the applicant’s musical training, for instance the applicant’s Head of Department.  If you are unable to gain a reference from your Head of Department, you will need to provide details of someone that has heard you play and who can provide a professional opinion on your playing and your plans for postgraduate study.
  • You need to ask your Referees to check their inbox for an email from our website.  The email, which they will receive as soon as you submit your application form, contains a unique link which they need to click to submit their reference before midnight on 17th February.
  • References cannot be submitted after 17th February, and as such your application may be rejected.
  • Please ask your referees to contact the Trust Secretary +44 (0)1428 685427 or email admin@munstertrust.org.uk if they encounter any difficulties submitting online

 

What recordings do I need to submit in support of my application?

We appreciate that making a recording may be different from usual this year in view of coronavirus restrictions.  We have produced a guide which includes some tips on how to produce a recording that will be acceptable to the Trustees no matter what your circumstances, but some specific points to bear in mind are:

  • The audio quality is more important than the video quality for your recordings but follow our tips on camera position, etc. The recording must be unedited;
  • You should try to submit accompanied pieces performed with an accompaniment but this can be a “minus-one track” if you are unable to record with an accompanist.  Check the balance between your playing and the accompaniment;
  • If you are unable to produce recordings specifically for your Munster Trust application, we will accept recordings made for, for instance, college video auditions, but we do require all recordings to be uploaded to YouTube and YouTube links added to your application.  All recordings should be from within the past 6 months and, if you have applied to the Trust in the past, please do not submit a recording/piece that you have used to support a previous application.
  • Please remember that the Trustees will not be assessing the quality of your recording but only the quality of your performance.

What to provide: SINGERS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS (except PERCUSSION – see below)

To accompany your application form, please include two YouTube links.  Each link must be to a video recording of you singing/playing within the previous 6 months.  The two pieces that you choose for your links must be contrasting in period, style and tempo, and each piece should be between 4 and 5 minutes long.

Do not submit two movements from the same work, or two pieces by the same composer.

Ideally the recordings should not include long introductions by accompanying instruments and you do not need to introduce yourself or the piece.  There should be approximately five minutes of your performance on each recording.

Jazz candidates: We welcome recordings of you playing as part of a small band, so that the Trustees can judge your interaction with other players.  Where this is not possible, you may use backing tracks to replace the small band.  You should choose two pieces that best illustrate your interest and ability in areas of music that involve improvisation.

Piano Accompanists – Please include links to either:
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying an instrumentalist. Neither of the two pieces should exceed six minutes; or
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying a singer. Neither of the two pieces should exceed six minutes; or
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying, separately, a singer and an instrumentalist. Neither piece should exceed six minutes.
When selecting your pieces and making your recordings, please bear in mind that the Trustees wish to be able to judge both your abilities as a pianist and your skills as an accompanist.

Please contact us on admin@munstertrust.org.uk or 01428 685427 well in advance of the application closing date if you need to discuss what it is possible for you to achieve and what the Trustees will be able to accept.

What to provide: PERCUSSION

To accompany your application form, please include two YouTube links to video recordings as follows:

  • One video recording should consist of the following pieces:  Timpani: Hindemith Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber AND Snare Drum: Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade (Mvts 3 and 4)
  • The other video recording should consist of the following pieces: Xylophone: Gershwin Porgy and Bess Introduction AND Vibraphone: Bernstein West Side Story.

If it is not possible for you to comply with these repertoire requirements, please contact the Trust Secretary on 01428 685427 well in advance of the application closing date to discuss what it is possible for you to achieve and what the Trustees will be able to accept.

What to provide: COMPOSERS

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube OR SoundCloud links to two recordings of recent contrasting compositions.  Two separate links are required – one for each piece.  These should have been recorded within the last 6 months if possible.

Do not submit scores unless requested to do so.

Recordings of real performances are preferable but we appreciate that this may not always be possible. Please take time to consider whether your pieces are sufficiently contrasting.

If you have problems with these recording requirements, please contact the Trust Secretary on Trust Secretary on 01428 685427 well in advance of the application closing date.

Uploading to YouTube/SoundCloud:

  • Please note: all video recordings must be publicly viewable.  Please use either the unlisted or public privacy setting.
  • Ensure that all advertisements are turned off – please refer to the FAQs if necessary.
  • Please add the date on which the recording was made (and not just the date on which it was uploaded) to the Description section of YouTube or SoundCloud as you upload your recording.
How do I remove advertising from my YouTube video?

Please follow the instructions below:

  • Sign in to YouTube.  In the top right-hand corner, click on your account icon and then go to Creator Studio
  • In the left-hand menu, select Channel and then Status and Features
  • From the Status and Features list, select Advanced
  • There will be a heading “Advertisements” and a question “Allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my videos” – make sure the box is unchecked.
  • Scroll down and click “Save”.
Instrument Purchase Loan FAQs
Who can apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Instrument Purchase Loans are only available to past beneficiaries of the Trust i.e. you have to have been offered financial support from the Trust towards your studies in order to be eligible.

How do I apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Eligibility Criteria for an Instrument Purchase Loan:

  • You must have received a study award from the Trust in the past.
  • You must have completed your education and be working as a professional musician.

Application Procedure:

  • The application form will be available for online submission from 1 January 2022.
  • The closing date for submission of completed application forms and video recordings is midnight on 10 February 2022. Applications received after this date will be rejected. The closing date for submission of references is midnight on 21 February 2022.
  • Please contact the Trust Secretary on admin@munstertrust.org.uk if you encounter difficulties submitting online, or if you require additional help or support through the application and audition process.

Video Recording Information:

We have produced a guide which includes some tips on how to produce a recording that will be acceptable to the Trustees no matter what your circumstances, but some specific points to bear in mind are:

  • The audio quality is more important than the video quality for your recordings but follow our tips on camera position, etc. The recording must be unedited;
  • You should try to submit accompanied pieces performed with an accompaniment but this can be a “minus-one track” if you are unable to record with an accompanist.  Check the balance between your playing and the accompaniment;
  • If you are unable to produce recordings specifically for your Munster Trust application, we will accept recordings made for, for instance, college video auditions, but we do require all recordings to be uploaded to YouTube and YouTube links added to your application.  All recordings should be from within the past 6 months and please do not submit a recording/piece that you have used to support a previous application.
  • Please remember that the Trustees will not be assessing the quality of your recording but only the quality of your performance, and appreciate the challenges faced if coronavirus restrictions are in place.

What to submit

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube links to video recordings of two pieces contrasting in period, style and tempo.  The two pieces should each be approximately five minutes long.  Two separate links are required – one for each piece.

  • Do not submit two movements from the same work, or two pieces by the same composer.
  • Jazz candidates: We welcome recordings of you playing as part of a small band, so that the Trustees can judge your interaction with other players.  Where this is not possible, for instance because of coronavirus restrictions, you may use backing tracks to replace the small band.  You should choose two pieces that best illustrate your interest and ability in areas of music that involve improvisation.

Referees:

  • Two references must be submitted by midnight on  21 February 2022 as part of your application.  If your references are received after that date, your application may be rejected.
  • Please ensure your chosen referees are able to write in support of your application, giving particular attention to your future career prospects and dependability.  Comments on the suitability and price of the chosen instrument (if any) would also be helpful.
  • You need to ask your Referees to check their inbox for an email from our website.  The email, which they will receive as soon as you submit your application form, contains a unique link which they need to click to submit their reference before midnight on  21st February 2022.
  • Please ask your referees to contact the Trust Secretary +44 (0)1428 685427 or admin@munstertrust.org.uk if they encounter any difficulties submitting online.

Auditions:

  • You will not hear back from the Trust regarding auditions until early-mid April.
  • We are keeping all Government advice and restrictions relating to COVID-19 under review. If it is not possible to hold live auditions in 2022, candidates will be assessed on the basis of their application forms, recordings and references, and so candidates are advised to ensure that their applications and recordings submitted to the Trust are as strong as they can be.
  • If live auditions are possible, they will take place between April and June.  You must be prepared to audition in person in London. Provisional audition dates for 2022 are as follows:
  • Keyboard – Monday 11th April 2022
    Strings – Thursday 28th April/Thursday 12th May 2022
    Woodwind – Thursday 5th May/Monday 16th May 2022
    Brass, Percussion – Thursday 12th May 2022
    Jazz – Thursday 26th May 2022
  • If invited to audition, you will not be able to perform the pieces you have submitted with your application.

Loan offers:

  • Offers of loans are made to selected applicants after completion of the application process.  You may not hear the result of your application until early-mid June.
When are the auditions?

The Auditions generally take place between April and early June. You must be prepared to audition in person in London. It may be necessary in response to coronavirus restrictions to alter our usual audition process.  All changes will be notified in due course.

Provisional audition dates for 2022 are as follows:

Keyboard – Monday 11th April 2022
Strings – Thursday 28th April/Thursday 12th May 2022
Woodwind – Thursday 5th May/Monday 16th May 2022
Brass, Percussion – Thursday 12th May 2022
Jazz – Thursday 26th May 2022

What are the repayment terms of an Instrument Purchase Loan?

The precise repayment terms of any loan offer will depend upon the individual circumstances of the candidate. However the usual terms allow for a 10-month grace period following the grant of the loan and then a repayment period calculated according to the amount of the loan. By way of example, for loans between  £5,001-£10,000 there would be a 10 months’ grace period and then a 7 year repayment period so that is 1/84th per month of sum loaned. In this example, a loan of £10,000 would need to be repaid at £119 per month over 7 years.

What is the maximum amount for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

The Trusts offers interest free loans up to £25,000 but to past beneficiaries only.

Stephen Oliver Award FAQs
Who can apply for the Stephen Oliver Award?

The Stephen Oliver Award is made biennially: the Award is given to a young composer who has written a work for music theatre to assist with the cost of bringing that work to performance. The Award for 2021 was for up to £5,000. The next Award will be in 2023.  Applications can be made via email to admin@munstertrust.org.uk and the closing date for applications is 30th April 2023. More information about the Award is available here.

 

Can I apply online for the Stephen Oliver Award?

There is no set application form for the Stephen Oliver Award.  The applicant should submit by email to admin@munstertrust.org.uk a copy of the score and libretto to which the application relates (and links to recordings if available) together with other examples of the applicant’s work.

In addition, the applicant should provide, also by email, detailed estimates of costings for bringing the work to production, together with an account of progress made in accessing other sources of funding and possible realisation dates.

Click here to find out more about the Award.

 

When is the applications deadline for the Stephen Oliver Award?

Applications for the next Stephen Oliver Award will be accepted from 1st January 2023 and the closing date for applications is 30th April 2023.

If, in the meantime, you would like further information about the Award, please contact the Trust Secretary on admin@munstertrust.org.uk